The former higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana said communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was picking up masks and protective gear from his home before she sat down for lunch.
He made the clarification on Tuesday after public outrage over a picture showing Manana and Ndabeni-Abrahms having lunch and drinks on Sunday, Manana said the minister was picking up a donation from his foundation.
“It was irresponsible for me to have posted the picture without the required context “creating the impression that it was a social lunch,” he said.
He said he apologize for the impression created that Ndabeni-Abrahams was there for a social visit.
“On April 5 2020, I received a call from the minister of communications and digital technologies, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who informed me that she is visiting a site in the Fourways area where a number of students are working on the Covid-19 digital services,” said Manana
The minister relayed to me that the students are in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers which my foundation has been handing over to marginalised communities
“I then asked the minister to pass by my private residence and collect the material which she gladly did,” Manana said in his statement.
It is to be unclear which student programme Manana is referring to and why the minister physically fetched protective gear herself.
He said that on her arrival, his family was having lunch and he courteously invited her to join them not that it was a social visit as most people claimed on social media.
She then collected the material and headed to her next assignment. She took the first batch for the Fourways students and indicated that the next visit will be tomorrow (8 April) at the Menlyn site which our team will be delivering,” Manana said.